Photograph by Caitlin Abrams
Johnny Michaels is one of the godfathers of the Twin Cities’ drink scene. He brought La Belle Vie’s bar program to national prominence and wrote North Star Cocktails, a benchmarking tome about our local cocktail culture. So what’s he doing opening a bar in downtown White Bear Lake? “I really think it’s time to bring smart drinks out to the suburbs,” he says. “And I think you’ll see more people doing it.” His new spot, The Alchemist, is small, dark, and tricked out with a steampunk vibe that fits its basement location. Cocktails are creative, but not too complicated. Consider the Starchild, a carbonated Negroni with lemon foam, or the Pink Panther, a pink grapefruit-rhubarb margarita—both are worth the drive.
2222 4th St., White Bear Lake, 651-261-6662, thealchemistwbl.com